ADA is dedicated to bettering the lives of Albanians by advocating for true democratic institutions in Albania.
After suffering through five decades of one of history’s most repressive and brutal communist regimes, the people of Albania had great expectations for democracy. Unfortunately, they have been burdened with a succession of unscrupulous, corrupt, authoritarian governments that have blocked Albania's forward progress as a democracy. Today, Albania is a democracy in name only.
ADA was born out of our members concerns about the steady erosion of Albania's democratic institutions. No Albanian election has been free and fair, and to the extent elections are held, results are routinely manipulated. Freedom of speech, a fundamental pillar of democracy, is under siege as media outlets that criticize the government are systematically intimidated into silence or shut down. Government enterprises are viewed as personal piggy banks by the ruling elite of what is essentially a kleptocracy. And rule of law has become little more than a catch phrase Albanian politicians use to curry favor with senior government officials from Western democracies.
In true democracies, no one is above the law, and all citizens are subject to oversight by a fair and functioning judicial system predicated on the rule of law. In America, the world’s leading democracy, even those who hold the highest office are subject to the law of the land. U.S. Presidents have been forced from office for obstructing justice and have been compelled to testify before prosecutors in conjunction with charges of abuse of office. In Albania, ministers who have been indicted for serious crimes routinely escape prosecution with devious maneuvers that range from hiding behind a cloak of immunity, to claiming scheduling conflicts with the general prosecutor's investigation, to blatantly tampering with evidence in conspiracy with corrupt judges who are easily manipulated. Without adherence to the rule of law, there can be no legitimate and stable democracy in Albania.
ADA will work to protect and strengthen democratic institutions in the Republic of Albania for the betterment of the people of Albania. We are Albanians of Albania and for Albania, and we are independent of any and all political factions in Albania. ADA will support and defend Albania's democratic institutions by utilizing methods available to advocacy groups in civil society including informing policy makers, sponsoring educational forums, and raising public awareness. We will also cooperate with other NGOs and advocacy groups when mutual interests coincide.
When warranted, ADA will support issues related to human rights, nationalistic, humanitarian and cultural issues that impact Albanians.
The fact that it has become necessary for an organization like ADA to come into existence is in itself a commentary on the sad state of “democracy” in Albania. Ironically, the true measure of ADA's success will be when we can one day declare our mission accomplished so that our organization can no longer claim a reason to exist.